Southern B.C. Mussels

A problem can arise when it comes to building and adding onto your lake front – an endangered species often forgotten about. Yes, the Rocky Mountain Ridged Mussel is one creature that really doesn’t get much attention – but the Canadian Wildlife Service has yet to forget about it and has rules in place that oversee the safety and habitat restoration of the mussel. It is the only known living kind left of its own genus, and can be the cause of a lot of distress if there happens to be a group on your lake front property – the construction of a dock would be completely prohibited. The problem stems from the construction of docks / lifts / other lake-front products stirring up and altering the habitat that these mussels reside in.

This small creature can cause quite a stir, so if for some reason you’ve got a hunch that some may be residing around your property, check that first before any construction happens. This could get you into a lot of trouble later on – dealing with an endangered species is quite a process. From the map pictured below, you can see that the residence of these mussels is found mostly in the western area of the states, but their habitat does reach into southern BC and just creeps into the Okanagan.

Only a couple of customers (out of 1300+) have ever run into this problem – but it’s still something to check in on. Make sure your lake front is the appropriate place to have a dock and Leisure Boat Lift!

Advertisements

It’s never too early for a maintenance request –

Regular maintenance is a big part of Leisure Boat Lift’s lifespan. At least once a year must a lift have its roller wheels lubricated by the 4 grease points. This is necessary for the lifter to have fluid, smooth up and down rolling motion. Without yearly lubrication, the lift may begin to chatter and struggle as it moves in either direction. Although this will not immediately harm the lift, it is highly advised to give us a call, or if you are equipped to do so, lubricate the lift yourself. It is not an extremely complex process but requires the correct tools and knowledge.

There are 4 different lubrication points on the cradle (which are situated inside of the tower) that are called grease nipples. The top 2 can be reached from the top but you must go underneath the cradle to reach the bottom 2. We are fully equipped to do this at any time of year, as cold water does not pose a challenge to our dry suits and other gear.

 

Another line on the maintenance checklist would be your lift’s brakes. The chain hoists we use have brake pads just like any vehicle would have – they wear away with use over time. The photo below is a case of very much use with no brake maintenance, it takes a long time to have the pads wear so thin. Over time with regular use, you may hear chattering / squeaking as you lower your lift – This requires a maintenance call but is not related to the brakes wearing too thin. We dismantle the chain hoist safely, and do not replace the brakes but instead clean them of the brake ‘dust’ which has accumulated over use, which is the cause of the brakes becoming shiny and glassy, and slipping just a little bit as it lowers.

 
To keep the brakes of your lift healthy, it is important to lower the lift in increments. Do not just simply hold down the wobble switch in the “down” direction for a few minutes until the lift has lowered – lower the lift 15 seconds at a time, pause for 10 or so seconds, and continue. This keeps the brakes from getting too hot and increases their lifespan.

 

In The Making,

Just a snapshot of the countless drafts documenting each LBL component.

One example of how many pieces make up all of Leisure Boat Lift can be seen in this blueprint of a PWC Kit – Not even an entire lift, only the kit which attaches onto the cradle, and already there are  25+ pieces of steel requiring a large variety of bolts and different welding techniques, along with the need of being perfectly aligned so the entire kit works together. Just finding the turf-style carpet necessary to cover each walkway and stopping board is a trial; the carpet must be ordered from Quebec, and requires hours of hand work just to cut and size the carpet rolls, and staple it all together proportionately. When it comes to creating a Leisure Boat Lift, there aren’t many short cuts available. Everything is taken into account, and crafted with care – there is no middle man. Just our one crew doing the entirety of work – sales, manufacturing, installing.

Each LBL component has been drafted or is in the process of having its own blueprint made. This is a long project that has been looking over every measurement used by DNR Specialty Welding in the past 30 years, going over every detail involved in a Leisure Boat Lift. In 1986, blueprints for Leisure Boat Lift and each of its components were drafted by hand by one man, Karel Suchma. It’s a painstaking process to be drawn by hand, requiring total focus and concentration. Our current AutoCAD project is drafting done by computer, where much of the line work and mathematical processing is a breeze compared to decades ago. But over those years, a lot has changed, and countless updates need to be done to the original LBL idea, especially to accommodate for the changing world of modern boats in our local lakes. Boats are getting bigger, faster, and longer. A “big” boat, when we started 25 years ago, was a 16 foot boat with 85 horsepower. We’re changing everything to be the strongest, most reliable lifter for the constantly improving boats there are today.

Tournament Kit Preview

Your Leisure Boat Lift can safely hold and support any standard boat. But when it comes to something a little faster, sharper, and more cutting-edge boats; a Tournament Kit is required. These are boats that have large fins on the underside of the boat, inboard motors, and a lower, sleeker design. The Tournament Kit offers these types of boats a higher lift, a newly placed stop board for the fins, and 4 guiding posts to make steering onto the lift very easy.

As you can see, the tournament kit is composed of several strong, unique components manufactured by us at DNR Specialty Welding. Although it doesn’t seem that exciting lying on the ground, attach it to a Leisure Boat Lift and you’ve got yourself a powerful lift perfect for holding the latest in tournament boats.

Vessels we wish we could lift

Leisure Boat Lift’s primary objective has always been simple, every-day use for tournament boats, patio boats, PWCs and your normal recreational boat. There are a lot of downsides when it comes to the attempt of lifting more luxurious, heavier boats. Lifting a bigger boat requires more use of power and electrical riggings, increases the need for maintenance (due to the increased weight strain on lifter components) and a higher risk of failure when all of these heavy parts are in motion. For these reasons, we tend to avoid lifting things heavier than your every-day, lake front recreation boats. Boats like yachts, cruisers, trawlers, and industrial ships are best left tied to a dock or anchored, where the only thing their weight is bearing down upon is the water.


There are other boat lift designs out there that have weight capacities far into the tens of thousands, able to lift different styles of large, heavy boats; but these styles (often hefty 4-poster lifts) have many cables and other riggings required to lift the boat; and these components are all at risk because they are left to sit in the water while the boat is off of the lift. Over 90 percent of boat lifts in use today share that trait, where an important component is exposed to the water, increasing how fast it wears. Leisure Boat Lift avoids this, and keeps all important parts far from the water. Many other lifts aside from LBL, like the large lifter shown below, attach to your dock for support and as mentioned before, carry a higher risk by holding so much weight with so many different components.
When you do decide to look for a boat lift, it’s very important to contact your boat’s manufacturer. There are many different styles and designs of boats, and some are not meant to be lifted (or have certain requirements or specifications when it comes to being lifted.) Being informed and well-read on how your boat lift works, proper maintenance, and knowledge of your own boat are all key on keeping your lift and boat safe for years to come.

Safely Coated Steel

Leisure Boat Lift is composed of steel. A lot of steel. And all that steel gets dropped into lakewater and left there for 25 years. Many people have thought of or suggested using a lead-based paint or coating, or using galvanized steel. We’ve chosen something different – an epoxy coating that we’ve had supplied by Cloverdale paint – the epoxy paint coating, ClovaGuard, that we use on every component of Leisure Boat Lift stands out amongst the other options. It is meant for industrial, structural steel in a marine environment. It is high performance, as well as abrasion and chemical resistant. This coating gets used all over the place – swimming pool liners, containers for potable liquids (such as orange juice or apple juice containers), other storage containers and with machinery. The coating becomes virtually inert when applied to the material – as it sits in the water, it does nothing but protect the steel. You can see aquatic plant life growing directly on the material, as if it were the lake bottom. It is a perfectly safe coating that is lead free, can not be rubbed off, and emits no chemicals or pollutants into the water. This safe epoxy coating is used on all of our products.

Some have asked about or suggested using Galvanized Steel. That option is a different story – it has a variety of pros and cons that match up against our method. When material is galvanized, it is coated with a thin layer of material such as Zinc. This provides a self-sacrificing layer which keeps the metal strong, while any wear and tear or rust only happens to that thin outside layer. Unfortunately, a few problems are associated with this. If the thin, outer-layer of zinc is damaged or dented, this causes a hole in that layer and allows the steel to corrode normally – something we try to avoid in a rough marine environment. Not only that, but the galvanized layering over top of the steel can often hide imperfections in the material. Lead can be found in the thin outside layer as well, which is something we do not want in our product. The use of lead paint or lead products isn’t even touched by us – keeping lead out of water is very important, and we follow that advice. No lead is used in any of our products, their coating, or any other material.

 

Lakefront Ecology 2

A big concern amongst lakefront property owners is the quality of the water around their property. It’s not often that people enjoy swimming in a big gooey mess of oils and chemicals tumbling about in the lake – That’s why every LBL uses only 100% marine-usage, water-safe paints, epoxies, and carpeting. In our motor stop boards, PWC stop boards and walkways, and skeg stop boards, we use completely untreated wood which does not affect the water in any way. Treated wood has a negative effect, in that it contaminates the water and even the aquatic life and lake bottom.

We avoid that!